Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Crisp Dessert Recipe

Looking for that autumn-kissed dessert that's not heavy or too sweet. In fact this dessert is full of nutrients. Pumpkin is very low in calories yet a powerhouse of nutrients—good source of vitamin A, B-complex, minerals and antioxidants like leutin, xanthins and carotenes (maybe you guessed this last one from the orange color). Apples are full of their own health benefits—help regulate blood sugar, satisfy hunger and aid digestion to name a few.

The key to this recipe is picking a sweet pumpkin. You need to choose a pumpkin that would be used for baking—not one you might use to carve a ghoulish face or decorate your front porch. Look for sweet pie, pumpkin pie or golden nugget pumpkins to use for this recipe. You'll typically find then in the produce section labeled for baking. They are usually small, about 8 inches in diameter.

If you can't find a pumpkin, you can use a butternut squash. In that case, skip the first two steps in the recipe directions.

Since pumpkins are more dense with less water content than apples, you'll want to pre-cook the pumpkin. You can either peel, cut up and cook it (a very time-consuming task given the tough exterior of a pumpkin). Or you can cut the pumpkin in half and bake it before you cut it into 1/2-inch pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean out the pumpkin and place cut side down on a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
Oil 9"x13" baking dish. Pulse cashews in food processor until chopped. Add to mixing bowl. Pulse rolled grain until chopped, taking care not to over-process or you'll make flour. Mix with cashews.
Add remaining dry Crumble ingredients and mix thoroughly. Melt coconut oil and drizzle over Crumble. Then use fork to blend until mixture is moistened. Set aside.
I used Gala and Granny Smith apples for this recipe. Another sweet apple choice is Pick Lady. Quarter and core the apple—I prefer to keep the skin on. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Once the pre-cooked pumpkin has cooled enough, cut the skin off, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Mix apples, pumpkin and remaining Filling ingredients. Add to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle Crumble over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until top is browned and fruit is bubbling.

Pumpkin Apple Crisp

From Chris Pedersen
Yield 8-10 servings

Category Dessert
Cuisine Sugar-free, Vegan

1 1/4 raw cashews
1 1/4 rolled oats (or mxture of rolled grains)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 Tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/4 C extra virgin coconut oil
1 small pumpkin (7-8 inch diameter pie pumpkin)*
5 apples (gala, granny smith & pink lady)
1/4 C whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 C unsweetened apple or white grape juice
*Use butterniut squash if pumpkin not available

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, clean out seeds and string.
2. Cook pumpkin face down in baking dish for 30 minutes. Test to make sure pumpkin doesn't get too soft--it should be only slightly cooked. (Skip step 1 and 2 if using butternut squash.)
3. Oil 9"x13" baking dish or two smaller baking dishes.
4. Place cashews in blender or food processor and pulse/process to chop fine. Transfer to mixing bowl.
5. Place oats (or rolled grains) in blender or food processor and pulse/process to make course crumbs. Careful NOT to over blend or you'll make flour. Add to chopped cashews.
6. Mix oats and cashews with remaining dry Crumble ingredients. Melt coconut oil and drizzle on the mixture. Blend with fork until evenly moistened. Set aside.
7. Quarter and core apples, then chop into 1/2" pieces.
8. Peel cooked pumpkin (or raw butternut squash) and cut into 1/2" pieces.
9. Mix apples, pumpkin, and remaining ingredients until coated, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
10. Sprinkle with Crumple topping and place in oven.
11. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes until topping is browned and crisp and filling is bubbling a bit.

Notes: • Serving suggestion: Top with scoop of coconut milk ice cream.

I wish I had a pretty picture of the Pumpkin Apple Crisp with coconut ice cream on top—I was on a recent road trip when I made this dessert so I didn't have any fancy bowls or coconut ice cream. I'll make a pretty picture next time I make this, which could be soon since autumn is a baking season.

What recipes are you in the mood to bake or cook when autumn hits?


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